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The club this evening parted company with long-serving veterans Nemanja Jankovic and Andy Harte, along with Academy graduate Duncan Stanfield for what has been described as ‘nominal fees’. Nemanja heads off to Italy, and Serie VIII side CEP 1953, Andy has joined Polish VIII Liga side Fc’Sosnowiec, while Duncan will be plying his trade with DIABLOS ROJOS 77 in the Argentinian VI División

During his eighteen seasons at New Home Park Nemanja made a record total of two-hundred and thirty-seven competitive appearances, scoring fifty-seven goals in the process; in his twelve seasons at the club Andy played in one hundred and fifty-five competitive games, netting on twenty-nine occasions; and Duncan played ten times, scoring once in his two seasons following promotion from the Academy.

“It’s never an easy decision to move players on and it was especially hard with these guys”, admitted Leoš as the news broke. “I’ve watched Duncan progress through the Academy, and as for the ‘old-timers’, well they’re part of the furniture here!”

“Nemanja and Andy have both been here for a long time, a very long time”, he added. Actually,” he continued, “it’s a standing joke with Nemanja that he was going into his testimonial season when I arrived! It’s going to seem really strange without them around”.

“Although Duncan hasn’t been in the senior squad for long, he’s a product of our Academy. He’s a good lad, and with the right coaching in Argentina, he’ll go on to do well in the game”, said the coach.

Before they left for pastures new, each of the players spoke to the website.

First up was Nemanja Jankovic who said, “Firstly, I’d like to thank the fans and everyone who has made my family so welcome during our time here. I couldn’t believe it was eighteen seasons, the time has passed so quickly. Next up, I’d like to thank Brook Street Athletic Football Club for giving me so many great memories, along with a few medals!!! Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to my good friend, ‘the Gaffer’. He’ll no doubt take some stick from some who will not take our departures well, but he has everyone’s best interests at heart”.

He continued, “What no-one outwith the club knows is that I’ve been struggling since my injury and just can’t keep up with the likes of young Alex Clapperton; the heart’s there but the body isn’t. We all knew that my playing time here was coming to an end, and Leoš along with the Directors offered me a non-playing position within the club, ‘upstairs’ if you like. While I was genuinely flattered by the offer, I want to keep playing as long as I can, so I had to turn it down. They all understood my reasons though, and helped me achieve this new start for which I’ll be eternally grateful”.

Speaking of moving to Italy, he said, “I’m glad it’s a club from Abruzzo. It’s a beautiful part of the country, but it’s also really close to my family in Serbia! Seriously though, I’m looking forward to the new challenge and I’m sure it’s one I will rise to”.

He finished by saying, “I’m really sad to be leaving, but I will always remember my time at Brook Street as the best of my life.

Next up was Andy Harte who said, “I probably should have moved a season or so ago, but was easily persuaded to stay by Leoš. To be honest, I didn’t have to think twice; this is such a good club and it’s really well run. Ok, they perhaps underachieve, but it’s steady as she goes and we always get paid, which is more than can be said of some clubs”.

He cuntinued, “It’s probably been said a million times before, and it’s a real cliché, sorry, but Brook Street Athletic is a real family club. When players like me, Nemanja or Leoš arrive, we stay for a long time. That speaks volumes”.

He concluded by saying, “I would like to wish everyone connected with the club all the very best for the future, and I’ll be looking out for your results!”

Last, but not least was Duncan Stanfield who said, “I’m disappointed to be leaving the club as I thought I could do something with the senior team, but I can understand the reasoning why”.

“I’ve got an unbelievable opportunity in South America and to be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s kind of like, ‘Wow! You’re going to be playing football in Argentina!’ I keep having to pinch myself”.

On his time at Brook Street he said, “It’s been a great experience, progressing from the Academy setup into the senior squad. I’d particularly like to thank Jeff Duilach for giving me a kick up the backside when I needed it. Ultimately, without him I wouldn’t be heading to Argentina!

“In addition, I’d also like to thank Nemanja for all his advice and Fraser Carragher for teaching me my first Spanish phrase: ‘Dos cervezas por favor’. I don’t know what it means, but I guess I’ll find out soon!

Everyone at the club wishes Nemanja, Andy and Duncan the best of luck with their respective new clubs.

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Brook Street's new signings, Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne (right) in training this afternoon.

Brook Street’s new signings, Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne (right) in training this afternoon.

Brook Street coach Leoš Loos wasted no time in starting to ring in the changes he promised following the yesterday afternoon’s defeat, and within hours had signed two midfielders for a combined price tag of over £3million.

First in was 28 year-old German Eike Alanne who arrived from Swiss Liga V side Smash FC with a price tag of just under £2million, and shortly afterwards 30 year-old Spanish playmaker Lope Cabrio was signed for £1.2million from Liga VI side Mika’s Team.

Unveiling the new recruits at this afternoon’s press conference, the coach expressed his pleasure at securing the players.

“Quality costs money and although I would always prefer to pay less, the opportunity arose last night to sign the two players, and it wasn’t one I was going to let slip”.

Refuting claims that these are panic buys, the coach said, “We’ve been weak in midfield for quite some time as those of you who saw our performance yesterday will no doubt agree. These two lads are experienced and will give us that dig in the middle of the park, exactly what we’ve been missing”.

“Whether we can re-energise our campaign this season or have to wait until next, this is part of the rebuilding process that will see us make a concerted effort to gain promotion. These won’t be the last signings we make, but some existing players will move on beforehand. To that extent, I can announce that, having discussed the matter with the players concerned and their representatives, I can now tell you that Nemanja Jankovic, Andy Harte and Duncan Stanfield have all been transfer-listed”.

He added, “We’ve tried to slowly build the side by promoting from the academy, but with a few very notable exceptions, this hasn’t worked and as a result the club as a whole have been stagnating. This is where we kick-start it back into life, but what you can be assured of is that anyone coming in will have to be good enough to help us move the club forward. Second-best is not good enough for this club”.

On his first game back after injury, Nemanja Jankovic fires in our third goal at Alyth this afternoon.

On his first game back after injury, Nemanja Jankovic fires in our third goal at Alyth this afternoon.

Brook Street enter uncharted territory next Wednesday with a Tartan Cup Fourth Round tie for the first time. The New Home Park clash with Division III side Sgt. Pepper was set up with a 4-2 win at Alyth, although it wasn’t a vintage performance by any means.

Brook Street raced to an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Muhammad Noorani and Matt Cocker before Hugo Cotter pulled one back for the home side.

Making his comeback from injury, veteran winger Nemanja Janković restored the two-goal advantage in the seventy-second minute, and Fraser Carragher blasted home a penalty three minutes later to make the win all but safe.

Ben Melville reduced the lead with eleven minutes to go, but it proved to be too little too late and it was Brook Street who advanced to the next round.

“We certainly weren’t at our best today”, admitted Leoš Loos after the match, “but we dug deep when it mattered and have secured a good win”.

“We surrendered a lot of possession in the middle of the park which was disappointing, and we’ll have to play a whole lot better in the next round”, he added. “We’ll have home advantage though, so that will buoy the players”.

Abel Soffia fires in our second goal against Marcascotties this afternoon.

Abel Soffia fires in our second goal against Marcascotties this afternoon.

The old adage of counting ones chickens may not have had much meaning to the playing staff prior to kick-off this afternoon, but its effects and those of Brook Street’s 3-2 defeat to Marcascotties will certainly be reverberating around New Home Park tonight.

Whilst it had originally been thought that Brook Street simply had to turn up today as the match was meaningless, this was not the case. From a position where automatic promotion seemed a formality, Brook Street now find themselves in the position where they now face a difficult trip to face Division III.8 side Dronach Lions in the Highlands in a play-off next weekend.

Speaking afterwards Leoš Loos admitted, “We’ve only got ourselves to blame for this defeat. We took our eye off the ball and we’ve paid a very heavy price. We were second to everything and they certainly wanted the win more. That showed.”

On next week’s opponents Dronach Lions the coach said, “We honestly don’t know a thing about them at the moment. We’ll study the videos over the next few days and form our gameplan from that”.

He continued, “It’ll be a really tough game, but we’ll prepare thoroughly and give it 100%”.

On a bad afternoon for Brook Street, veteran winger Nemanja Jankovic was helped off after sustaining what looks like a serious injury.

“We’ll have to assess him over the next few days, but he could be out for a lengthy period”, said Leoš. “I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s career threatening, but it’s certainly serious”.

The team celebrate lifting the title.

The team celebrate lifting the title.

In the end with Marcascotties’ 5-0 defeat away to Stirling Bridge effectively rendered outcome of Brook Street’s match against FC Poland meaningless, the New Home Park side were taking no chances and comprehensively dismantled their visitors with a devastating display of attacking football to seal the championship and with it a swift return to the third tier of the Hattrick Scottish League.

In front of over 54,000 spectators, Brook Street were a goal up inside the first two minutes through Zsolt Baboss and from then on there was no way there would be any slip-ups. FC Poland had set up in a defensive 5-3-2 but all this served to do was invite wave upon wave of Brook Street attacks. It was almost inevitable that Brook Street would run up a big score against a reserve side, and that they did, netting eleven without reply.

“We showed what we are capable of today and I’m delighted for the lads”, beamed Leoš Loos afterwards. They’ve worked very hard this season and now have their reward. We go back to Division III with renewed optimism, and while we know it will be a whole more difficult proposition at the higher level, we at least have the advantage of knowing what to expect”.

He continued, “We were fortunate to keep the team together after last season and that helped us greatly. However, I would expect that some players may move on now as we build for next season”.

When pressed on who he thought would be leaving he replied, “We’ll be looking at that in the close season, and the players concerned would be the first to know rather than the press. In the meantime we’ve still got a match left to play and we’ll be focussing on that this week rather than what will or won’t be happening in the build-up to next season”.

Emanuel Bohucký went home with the match ball after hitting his fourth career hat-trick, while both Nemanja Janković and Leoš Loos hit a brace. In addition to Zsolt Baboss’s opener, Brook Street’s other goals came from Attila Gyöngyösi, Andrew Cleary and Jake MacConnechy.

So Brook Street go into the final weekend fixture ironically away to runners-up, Marcascotties as Champions.

“It’s one of those things that crops up from time to time”, admitted the coach. “They’ve pushed us all season, but at least we’ll be able to enjoy the occasion a bit more. That’s not to say we’ll be taking the foot off the gas though”, he warned, “as there’s still a chance we could have to play a qualifier and I for one certainly don’t want that”.

Leoš Loos wheels away after puting us 2-0 up in this afternoon's match.

Leoš Loos wheels away after puting us 2-0 up in this afternoon’s match.

With their 7-0 demolition of Rebels London this afternoon, Brook Street have moved to a position whereby, as long as they at least match Marcascotties result next weekend, they will be crowned Champions.

The coaching staff have constantly played down any talk of winning the title, and with it, a swift return to Division III, however following this latest victory there was no such reticence on show at the post-match press conference.

“We have put ourselves in the position where a win will secure the Championship in front of our own fans”, admitted Leoš Loos. “Throughout the season we’ve just concentrated on one match at a time. It just so happens that this is the big one”.

Bringing the assembled press back to earth with a bump he then said, “However, that’s in the future. We’ve just won a match and that’s what I’m here to talk about”.

Continuing he said, “I thought we were quite poor today. Sure we won 7-0, but our general performance wasn’t up to scratch, particularly in the middle of the park. We’ll be working on that in training this week, but there can be no repeats otherwise we could find ourselves on the wrong end of a scoreline again”.

“It was reassuring however that we managed to score from all over the park; that was the real positive to take from the game.

Four goals in only eight first half minutes from Emanuel Bohucký, Loos himself, Sam Ferretto and Nemanja Janković killed off the game before the break, and those were added to in the second by Andy Harte, Abel Soffia and Attila Gyöngyösi as Brook Street tore their opponents apart.

“We must also remember Rebels London had nothing to play for, having already been relegated, so very little can be taken from this result. FC Poland will be a whole different prospect next week”.

Hattrick hero Andrew Cleary watches on as Muhammad Noorani half-volleys us into a second minute lead.

Hattrick hero Andrew Cleary watches on as Muhammad Noorani half-volleys us into a second minute lead.

Andrew Cleary netted his second hattrick in the space of seven days, and Muhammad Noorani a brace as Brook Street romped to a 9-0 victory over Dumfries and Galloway Athletic at a rain-lashed New Home Park this afternoon.

Muhammad opened the scoring in the second minute, before two goals from Andrew Cleary had Brook Street three up at the break. Abel Soffia increased the lead right after the re-start, and within the next six minutes, Brook Street added further goals from Nemanja Janković, Muhammad Noorani and Attila Gyöngyösi as they turned on the style.

Andrew Cleary completed his hattrick in the fifty-ninth minute before player/coach Leoš Loos made it nine two minutes later.

With the game won, Brook Street took the foot right off the gas and proceeded to knock the ball around as if it was nothing more than a training session, which technically it had.

The win combined with Marcascotties surprise 6-0 defeat at Sparta Macmerry means that a win next weekend over Rebels London could put Brook Street potentially ninety minutes away from the title, however coach Leoš Loos was dismissing any talk of championships at the post-match press conference.

“We’re just concentrating on one game at a time. There’s no point in doing otherwise as if you are looking further than that, you are not giving the job in hand one hundred percent of your attention. That’s when mistakes happen”.

He added, “This week we have concentrated on our match today; next week, we shall concentrate on next Saturday’s match. Don’t ask me about anything beyond that as it’s not on our radar”.

Asked about Andrew Cleary netting his twentieth goal of the season he said, “That was probably Andrew’s poorest performance of the season, yet he still scored three goals. That just shows how good a predator he is in front of goal”.

“He’s an exceptional player, but this was a great team performance and the whole team deserve credit. Conditions weren’t great, but the players showed great determination to see the job through, and I hope the fans were entertained by what they saw”.

Andrew Cleary fires home to complete his hat trick.

Andrew Cleary fires home to complete his hat trick.

An Andrew Cleary hat trick ensured that there would be an abundance of festive cheer around New Home Park this Christmas by helping Brook Street record their second successive 5-2 victory over Sparta Macmerry in the space of seven days. The win keeps them five points clear at the top of the division and now makes them red-hot favourites to win the title and with it make an early return to Division III.

Yet it was the home side who made the early running and opened the scoring with seventeen minutes played through Igor Nagalo. That lead however only lasted for three minutes before Nemanja Janković blasted home from close range.

With thirty-three minutes showing on the clock, the game was turned on its head as Andrew Cleary hit the first of his three goals to put Brook Street 2-1 up, and just five minutes later Leoš Loos scored to tighten the Monifieth side’s grip on the game.

Andrew Cleary extended the lead further ten minutes after the break and completed his hat trick eight minutes later. Although William Lembeli pulled a goal back for the home side, it was nothing more than a consolation as Brook Street saw out the game.

“We were thoroughly professional and got the win our play merited”, said Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference. He continued, “We played with control and composure, and controlled the game for long periods. Even after losing the early goal, we stuck to our task and there was never any doubt in my mind that we would see the game through”.

On hat-trick hero Andrew Cleary he said, “Andrew is having a phenomenal season and is almost certain to top the scoring charts. He’s hit fourteen goals already and is only three short of having scored fifty goals for the club”.

He continued, “He took his goals very well today and showed just how lethal a predator he is in front of goal. We’re very lucky to have such a talent at this club”.

Finally, all it remains is to wish all our readers a peaceful and very Merry Christmas!

Zsolt Baboss chips the ball home to open the scoring this afternoon.

Zsolt Baboss chips the ball home to open the scoring this afternoon.

An equaliser by Sparta Macmerry’s Willie Taylor nine minutes from time in their match against Maxum was enough to see Brook Street take pole position in Division IV.7 this afternoon.

In their game, the New Home Park side had seen off Rebels London by six goals to nil although Brook Street boss Leoš Loos wasn’t too impressed by the performance.

“You know, to be honest we’ve played better and lost. We were decidedly off form today, and although it was probably a blip, it serves to show we can’t be complacent”.

He continued, “Perhaps I’m being too hard on the team, but it certainly wasn’t a vintage Brook Street performance. We’re top of the league now so I should be happy with that, but too many of our players were off form today, and against a better team that would have cost us”.

Brook Street certainly laboured in the early stages and it took a sublime Zsolt Baboss chip over the keeper to open the scoring with seventeen minutes gone. The prolific Andrew Cleary added a second with thirty-five minutes on the clock, but it wasn’t until Nemanja Janković netted five minutes into the second half that the victory was effectively clinched.

The game descended into a dour slog in midfield, bar flashes of individual brilliance such as Emanuel Bohucký’s marvellous free-kick just after the hour mark that tore into the Rebels’ rigging to make it 4-0.

Brook Street were attacking at will now and within the following twelve minutes, they added a further two goals that would round off the scoring; first Zsolt Bqaboss fired in his second of the game with sixty-seven minutes played, then Jake MacConnechy wrapped up the scoring in the seventy-fifth minute.

Brook Street may indeed have had an ‘off day’, but the fact that even so they were far too strong for Rebels could, in time, prove telling.

Leoš Loos flicks home Abel Soffia's cross to restore our advantage.

Leoš Loos flicks home Abel Soffia’s cross to restore our advantage.

For the second time in a week Brook Street ran out 4-1 winners this afternoon to maintain our unbeaten start to the season. Andrew Cleary opened the scoring at the rainswept Arena of Szczurek with just over twenty minutes played.

However the lead lasted just ten minutes before Jesús Segovia fired home the equaliser for FC Poland. With the match becoming bogged down in midfield, that marked the last goal attempt before half-time.

Brook Street continued to concentrate on attacking down the wings, and it was from one such move that they re-took the lead in the sixty-fourth minute. Abel Soffia was revelling in the conditions, and was giving his marker a torrid time. Having left him for dead he fired in a low cross that player-coach Leoš Loos met at the near post and deftly flicked it past the keeper.

A one goal lead is always precarious, so it came as some relief when Andrew Cleary hit his second of the game with eight minutes remaining. This forced FC Poland to chase the game which in turn left more gaps at the back, one of which was exploited by Nemanja Janković who put the game beyond doubt with Brook Street’s fourth goal four minutes from time.

Afterwards, Leoš said, “That could have been a bit of a bit of a banana-skin for us, but we played very well and got the win our play merited.

Then, speaking of Andrew Cleary’s brace he said, “Andrew has hit the ground running this season and already has five league goals to his name. He’s on fire at the moment, and long may that continue”.

He concluded by saying, “If we continue as we have started, we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season”.

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